NANJING, China, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — At the first Grand Canal Cultural and Tourism Expo, hosted by Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism in May 2019, eight international guests from Europe, America, Asia and other countries and regions staged a “Grand Canal Talent Show” on the banks of the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is the oldest artificial river in the history of human civilization. They cooperated with some outstanding performing artists talented in Jiangsu Quyi (a Chinese folk art form) included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage, bringing a unique audio-visual feast.
Jiangsu section of the Grand Canal has the longest history and the richest cultural heritage. It flows through 8 prefecture-level cities such as Xuzhou, Suqian, Huai’an, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou. Covering 690 kilometers from south to north, it remains a golden channel in Jiangsu. “The canal gives birth to the city and makes it flourish”, that is, the Grand Canal has bred Jiangsu into a land of honey and milk, and has also left precious cultural treasure for Jiangsu. In order to disseminate the culture of the Canal, present the image of Jiangsu as a cultural tourist destination, highlight its international glamor, show its modernization and fashion sense, Jiangsu Provincial Culture and Tourism Department planned a series of creative theme activities named the “Grand Canal Talent Show”.
As early as March of this year, through layers of selection, eight international friends with outstanding talents and personal characteristics were selected to form the “Grand Canal Talent” team. At the same time, the organizer selected representative art projects with various urban characteristics in eight cities along the Grand Canal in Jiangsu. Those arts include Liuqin Opera, Subei Large Drum, Huaihai Opera, Puppet Show, Xi Songs, Xi Opera, Kun Opera, etc. Each talent represented a city and learned the local art. In the middle and late April, eight Grand Canal Talents went to their representative cities to take in-depth courses with the outstanding performers of the Arts.
On the central stage of the first Grand Canal Cultural and Tourism Expo, eight international Grand Canal Talents and outstanding performers of intangible cultural heritage jointly brought the premiere of the Talent Show. Eight international KOLs from the United States, Britain, Belarus, Ukraine and other countries, and their teachers performed the traditional skills of the cities along the Jiangsu Canal, such as Kun Opera, Liuqin Opera, and Xi Opera. The western performers took on gorgeous costumes with professional and sophisticated theatrical makeup, representing an exotic charm. This was not only a display of the achievements of the Grand Canal Talents, but also a communication and collision between Chinese and Western cultures. The Grand Canal Talents showed the charm of traditional Chinese arts in their own way. With the identities of foreigners, they performed the melody and uniqueness of local Chinese songs, which has attracted a lot of audiences. The talents’ enthusiasm and sincere devotion endowed the traditional culture with unique vitality, and gave the thriving Canal more opportunities to enter the world stage.
The Grand Canal Talent Show ended after the final performance in May, but it was the beginning for the Grand Canal Talents to spread culture and promote tourism of the Jiangsu Province. The deputy director of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, Fang Biaojun, awarded them the title of “Grand Canal Talent”. The story of the Grand Canal Talents and the Grand Canal in Jiangsu will continue on Jiangsu overseas new media platforms, allowing more foreign audiences to learn more about Jiangsu’s traditional stories, aiming to strengthen the overseas popularity and influence of Jiangsu culture, further promote the international brand image of its culture and tourism, and spread Jiangsu stories to foreign visitors with a loud and sound voice.
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